Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: A | 2 USERS: A+
New School Blues

Commercials. At West Dillon Panther Stadium, they're pumped and rich. At East Dillon Lion Bleachers, Not Tyra squawks "The Star Spangled Banner." At West Dillon, Tami gets sent to the coin toss by Wade, the stadium is raucous, and he shouts directions at her: they want to start on defense, and they really like to call heads. She nods at him as she strides onto the field, greets the ref and the boys, and then promptly calls tails and picks offense. Tami Taylor, you magnificent bastard!

Back at East Dillon, Vince is fast and good, the boys are off to a decent start. But after the next huddle, the snap gets fumbled at their own line of scrimmage. Next play, Vince gets drilled, and then the next huddle finds the quarterback calling a "Barracuda Right" to the confusion of the rest of the guys: "That's not a play." Landry thinks a minute and jumps in, "It's Oklahoma Right," but no matter what you call the play, what happens to the quarterback is called "sacked." Coach and Staub are shouting and upset on the sidelines, but the more of the game we see -- repeat touchdowns by the opposing team, repeat huge hits on Vince Howard, more confusion in the huddles -- the more Coach is left quiet and shocked. The score is 45-0 as we go into a terrible montage of huge hits on the Lions players. As we go to halftime, the announcer notes that Taylor is known for his halftime adjustments, but this is "as bad as anything I have ever seen on a football field."

The locker room is quiet except for the sounds of men tending to boys' injuries. Vince's ankle gets iced, Landry fishes around his mouth for what seems like a loose tooth. Sufjan Stevens's typically pretty "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" begins playing on the soundtrack. Coach comes in, gets the report on Vince's ankle, which is sprained and then walks around the room, checking on his soldiers. To a one, they all assure them that they're doing alright, they're solid. Coach is full of tenderness for them as he stands and looks around, his upright and good hair telling us that he knows what he has to do. We cut outside to Coach walking up to the ref, who's surprised to see him: there's still a few minutes left in halftime. Coach calls the ref closer and says quietly, painfully, "We gotta call the game." The ref doesn't totally follow and Coach asks if he needs a dissertation or something, they've got to call the damn game. Apparently he still hasn't said the magic words, so, with a recently-arrived Tami looking on from the bleachers, Coach says forcefully and mournfully, "Fine, we would like to forfeit the game, is that what you want to hear?" The ref blows the whistle, calls the game, and if you thought the show had run out of ways to break your heart, you were wrong. Eric Taylor doesn't quit, except for when he has to, for the good of those kids.

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Friday Night Lights




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